First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited has continued to build a valuable franchise in the retail space and its giant strides are also being felt by Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) operators.
For instance, the bank recently emerged as the 4th most customer-focused bank in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and 5th in retail banking based on the outcome of the 2015 Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS) carried out by KPMG, a leading international consulting firm.
The center point of attraction includes FCMB’s innovative products and service offerings that resonate with the needs and lifestyles of the market with an excellent customer service strategy that is currently generating customers’ commendations and accolades.
Ladi Balogun, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) said that, “The business is on a sound footing and is increasingly diversified. We do not want to lend to just a few people. We want to support as many people as we can. It gives a lot of professional satisfaction to realise that we are helping households across the nation to meet very critical needs’’.
“We will remain focused on improving operating efficiency, whilst also continuing with our steady customer acquisition drive and consolidation in alternate service channels in order to provide a more consistent and convenient customer experience,” he added.
Balogun said: “Overall, we are confident our progress will be sustained, as we continue to grow our market share, and improve our margins and efficiency ratios”.
As one of the banks appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the disbursement of the N220billion MSMEs Fund, FCMB continues to provide support at various levels, including funding and advisory services, to customers in this regard. The bank is said to have disbursed about N5billion to such businesses.
As part of efforts towards encouraging Nigerians to key into the banking system, FCMB initiated a microfinance arm to provide financial services to the unbanked and under-banked low income segment, especially women in the rural parts of the country. Designed as a group lending programme, the aim is to create financial awareness and funding for traders through micro-credit schemes to grow their respective businesses. The pilot in Oyo state had within 5 months provided loans to almost 5,000 women.
To ensure that customers have more opportunities to enjoy financial services without having to visit a conventional banking facility, FCMB also operates an agent banking scheme. Under the scheme, customers may visit non-bank retail outlets (such as supermarkets, gas stations, Pharmacy and stores) all within their communities to perform banking transactions. These non-bank retail outlets are equipped with Points of Sale (PoS) machines that are connected to FCMB’s core banking system. At the moment, the Bank has several agent banking outlets in Lagos with plans to deepen the reach nationwide before the end of this year, 2016.
The Bank’s customer base has been on the rise; moving from 1.8 million in 2013 to 2.5 million in 2014 with a target to further grow this to 4 million by the end of this year, 2016. FCMB now has 689 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), 12,000 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and 71 agent banking outlets (with a plan to grow to 800 agents), across the country.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Financial Watch. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.